The Samajwadi Party on Friday set at rest the ongoing controversy over Lok Sabha candidate from Azamgarh. The party had announced the candidature of Panchayat raj minister Balram Yadav. But a section in the party had demanded ticket for Prateek Yadav son of SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav.
However closing the chapter on Friday, the general secretary Ramgopal Yadav withdrew the candidature of Balram Yadav and nominated district unit chief Hawaldar Singh. Party sources said that for certain inexplicable reasons Balram Yadav was not willing to contest the poll.
A section of party workers had also held demonstrations at SP headquarters in Lucknow demanding a ticket for Prateek.
Hawaldar Singh told HT over phone that some people had floated the name of Prateek Yadav. "He (Prateek Yadav) was not interested in it," he added.
The party has also changed tickets for Bijnaur, Aligarh and Gonda. So far the party has changed nearly a dozen tickets and on feedback from the field and the axe may fall on some more candidates.
Similarly in a major setback to Anuradha Chaudhury, who had left the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) to join SP, was replaced as the candidate from Bijnaur, from where the RLD had won in the 2009 election, by Muzaffarnagar-based former MP Amir Alam.
Feeling neglected in the RLD, Anuradha Chaudhury, once a close confident of civil aviation minister Chuadhury Ajit Singh, had joined the SP in January 2012. The party had thereafter nominated her for Bijanur.
However the nearly 30% Muslim vote in Bijnaur seemed to be reason behind fielding a Muslim candidate in her place. Ramgopal Yadav said Amir Alam was a better choice than her. She was not available for comment.
The change in ticket of Kirtibardhan Singh, son of agriculture minister Anand Singh in Gonda was also presumably the result of on-going turf war between him and another minister Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh. The two ministers are at loggerheads in the district.
Interestingly the party has also changed the ticket from Aligarh from where SP MLA Zafar Alam has been picked in place of Kajal Sharma, wife of controversial SP MLA from Debai (Bulandshahr) Bhagwan Sharma alias Guddu Sharma. In Muslim-dominated Saharanpur, Firoz Aftab has been given the ticket.